The country has been transfixed over the last week or so by an incident in a little known area of Northumberland called Rothbury. I am of course referring to the hunt for Raoul Moat, who was wanted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s new lover and the shooting of her and a police officer.
Moat then left messages for the police in what turned out to be a seven day game of ‘cat and mouse’. It was all played out in the Rothbury area and watched by millions live on news channels.
Each day senior police officers from Northumbria Police gave press conferences, which were watched world wide as the hunt continued. The ongoing incident came to a less than abrupt end on Saturday 10th July when after a six hour stand-off with police, Moat killed himself with a shot to the head.
During the hunt for Moat, who let us not forget was wanted for murder and two attempted murders, the local police and assisting forces from as far away as the Metropolitan Police enjoyed massive public support. The news reports each day focused on how difficult a task it was for officers to apprehend an alleged killer who was armed and had made it public knowledge that he intended to use the weapon he possessed if cornered. In his own words, he had ‘declared war on the police’.
Well eventually he was cornered and fortunately before any other innocent persons came to harm.
Following the six hours of negotiations intended to persuade Moat to give up his weapon harmlessly, he ended his own life and instantly triggered the switch in news reporting against the police, who scant seconds earlier had been heroes.
In the days prior to Moat killing himself, reports were of how well the police were handling the situation, and how reassured the residents of Rothbury felt.
Minutes after the final shooting the reports were of how slow the Police had been to catch their suspect and how badly they had handled the whole incident together with questions over their use of Tazers.
Moat had signified his intent to kill police officers; he had already attempted to kill a police officer parked on a roundabout in the Newcastle area. Yet those officers went after him knowing that their lives would be in danger if they caught up with him. What do they then get from us as a country when the situation is over? Criticism! We should be thanking them that a man as dangerous as Moat is no longer a threat, not only to the police but as we have since learned to anyone else his dangerously deluded mind thought had disrespected him.
It should be noted that, when a firearms officer decides to pull the trigger on his or her weapon, they do it alone and they do it the knowledge that they will be instantly suspended and the subject of vigorous investigation comparable to a murder enquiry. And that is how it should be! So please don’t think the Police are trigger happy as I heard one (less than intelligent) person state on TV.
Following Moat’s suicide which, far from being the ‘rage against the machine’ course of action that he indicated he would follow, ended up being a cowardly suicide, we have seen numerous tribute pages surfacing on social network websites.
This was written on one such site by one Ricardo Carrai, : "Very well done. Anybody shooting down a…PC is worth my praise. Can't say the same about other countries' police but British Police deserve this and much worse."
Perhaps the writer of such ‘dross’ should spend some time in another country and witness the way those countries are policed, perhaps he would find that he police in this country are not that bad after all.
If Moat had gone on such a rampage in another country, we would not be criticising the police after a six hour stand off, as that stand off would have been resolved five hours and 55 minutes earlier by a police bullet!
It disturbs me as an individual, that an indiscriminate murderer like Moat should attract celebrity status. It disturbs me that there are people so removed from society’s decent majority as to write the words that you have read above from Ricardo Carrai. It disturbs me further that people have joined these social networking pages dedicated to a murderer in their thousands.
Finally a message to all of you who have entered your messages of sympathy for Moat, on the web or by any other means. He was a murderer and a coward who attacked defenceless people with a firearm. It could be argued that your messages only encourage others to behave in the same way as Moat. And the next Raoul Moat could be a lot closer to your home than the last!